Nowadays, you’ll find that most young children spend almost all of their day indoors. It’s no longer like years ago when it was common for kids to be outside playing almost all day long.
There are several reasons for the change but that doesn’t mean that you have to follow these statistics for your child.
Instead, be sure that your toddler is getting outdoors every day (or at least a few times a week during the harsher months) and simply have free play time.
During the first few years of life is when children learn and grow the most. This means that they are taking everything in and learning how things work.
There are so many great benefits of having your toddler play outside from physical development to intellectual development.
What Benefits Do Toddlers Get From Outdoor Play?
Although there are more than just five benefits of having your toddler play outdoors, here are the 5 main benefits of outdoor play for toddlers and preschoolers.
~Physical Healthy Benefits~
Outdoor Play Is Great Physical Exercise For Kids
The obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the United States since the 1970s. A part of the reason why this has happened in the past years is due to lack of exercise and physical activity in children.
Getting your child outdoors where they can have full range to run, jump, climb, and ride about is one of the best ways to ensure your child is getting the hour of exercise they need every day.
Yes, of course children can get some exercise indoors, but outside there is more room and a lot more activities that can keep them moving.
Even just getting your toddler outside for 15-30 minutes a day with a simple walk around the neighborhood or park is better than having them sit indoors all day.
Sunlight Is The Best Source of Vitamin D
Not only is playing outdoors great physical exercise for children but it also helps to provide them with their daily supply of Vitamin D that they need. The sun is actually the best and most efficient way to get your dose of Vitamin D naturally.
Vitamin D has been shown to be a huge factor in health and actually can help protect them from diseases later in life like osteoporosis and heart disease.
Playing Outdoors Is A Great Way To Develop Motor Skills In Toddlers
Lastly, another great benefit from playing outdoors it that a toddler gets to learn and develop new skills that they may not be able to perfect indoors.
Motor skills like running, jumping, climbing, and even riding a bike can’t easily be done inside. Therefor, children need to go outside to develop these skills. Outdoor play also helps to develop coordination and balance.
Although some adults may take these skills for granted, if your child doesn’t actually work on them (in a fun playful way outside) they may start lacking behind in the motor skills department.
~Mental Healthy Benefits~
Outdoor Play Can Help Relieve Stress and Be Exciting For New Experiences
There are not only healthy physical benefits to outdoor play time but there are also mental healthy benefits.
Toddlers, just like older children and adults can all benefit from being outdoors in nature. Being outdoors can actually help reduce stress and anxiety.
It’s almost like you become completely carefree and allow yourself to relax. The same goes for toddlers who may just be excited that they get some independence outside and are sort of “free” to experience new things.
Whether it is taking a walk with mom or dad around the park or playing in their very own outdoor toddler playhouse, young children get excited and you’ll find that they can be less moody and stressed, which makes mom and dad less moody as well.
Playing outdoors allows them an outlet to burn off the energy they may have also allowing for a better night’s sleep and less stress.
~Benefits Of Learning Outdoors~
The Outdoors Is Great Place For Kids to Get Creative and Learn
When children play outdoors they tend to get more creative as well as social. They are able to come up with games and imaginative play. You may just be surprised at how their swing set turns into their castle.
You’ll also find that they learn to share and take turns with these games. They learn about why rules are important.
But most of all parents can help teach their toddler about why nature is so important and why we must take care of it. You may just find that the younger you teach your child this, the more they enjoy nature through childhood and even through adulthood.
As a parents, we all should be striving to help our toddlers and children of all ages to really enjoy life and play outdoors. There are so wonderful healthy benefits to outdoor play and it only takes 30-60 minutes a day to really reap the benefits.
Plus, I know as a parent, it can be fun for me to play outdoors with my kids and as even adults will benefit greatly from being outdoors in nature.